The Difference between Web 1.0 to 5.0

Web 0.0 – Developping the internet

Web 1.0 – The shopping carts & static web

Experts call the Internet before 1999 “Read-Only” web. The average internet user’s role was limited to reading the information which was presented to him. The best examples of this 1.0 web era are millions of static websites which mushroomed during the dot-com boom (which eventually has led to the dotcom bubble). There was no active communication or information flow from consumer (of the information) to producer (of the information). But the information age was born!

According to Tim Berners-Lee the first implementation of the web, representing the Web 1.0, could be considered as the “read-only web.” In other words, the early web allowed users to search for information and read it. There was very little in the way of user interaction or content contribution. […]

The first shopping cart applications, which most e-commerce website owners use in some shape or form, basically fall under the category of Web 1.0. The overall goal was to present products to potential customers, much as a catalog or a brochure does — only through a website retailers could also provide a method for anyone (anywhere in the world) to purchase (their) products.

Web 2.0 – The writing and participating

The lack of active interaction of common users with the web lead to the birth of Web 2.0. The year 1999 marked the beginning of a Read-Write-Publish era with notable contributions from LiveJournal (Launched in April, 1999) and Blogger (Launched in August, 1999). Now even a non-technical user can actively interact & contribute to the web using different blog platforms. If we stick to Berners-Lee’s method of describing it, […] the Web 2.0, or the “read-write” web has the […] ability to contribute content and interact with other web users. This interaction and contribution has dramatically changed the landscape of the web […]. It has even more potential that we have yet to see. […] The Web 2.0 appears to be a welcome response to a web users demand to be more involved in what information is available to them.

This era empowered the common user with a few new concepts like Blogs, Social-Media & Video-Streaming. Publishing your content is only a few clicks away! Few remarkable developments of Web 2.0 are TwitterYouTubeeZineArticlesFlickr and Facebook.

There are many different views of Web 2.0 depending on who you talk to.

[…] Developers,[…], have a much more rigid definition of Web 2.0 than average web users, and this can lead to confusion [but I don’t go into this discussion.]

Web 3.0 – The semantic executing web

This in turn leads us to the rumblings and mumblings we have begun to hear about Web 3.0[…]. By extending Tim Berners-Lee’s explanations, the Web 3.0 would be a “read-write-execute” web. However, this is difficult to envision in its abstract form, so let’s take a look at two things […]that will form the basis of the Web 3.0 — semantic markup and web services.

Semantic markup refers to the communication gap between human web users and computerized applications. One of the largest organizational challenges of presenting information on the web was that web applications weren’t able to provide context to data, and, therefore, didn’t really understand what was relevant and what was not. [..]. While this is still evolving, this notion of formatting data to be understood by software agents leads to the “execute” portion of our definition, and provides a way to discuss web service.

web service is a software system designed to support computer-to-computer interaction over the Internet. […]. Currently, thousands of web services are available. However, in the context of Web 3.0, they take center stage. By combining a semantic markup and web services, the Web 3.0 promises the potential for applications that can speak to each other directly, and for broader searches for information through simpler interfaces.

Web 3.0 – how, why and when. Kate Ray has made a good documentary on web 3.0, and explains realy why we need a semantic web and what the semantic web is all about.

Are we there yet??

It seems we had everything we had wished for in Web 2.0, but it is way behind when it comes to intelligence. Perhaps a six-year-old child has/had better analytical abilities than existing search technologies! Keyword based search of web 2.0 resulted in an information overload. The following attributes are going to be a part of Web 3.0: Contextual Search

  • Tailor made Search
  • Personalized Search
  • Evolution of 3D Web
  • Deductive Reasoning

Because we aren’t there yet (completely), developers and users have come up with a ‘cheap’ intermediate way of contexualizing the search problem. You can read about it in my blog post: Can Google handle the Spam pressure?

What’s important to understand[…], is that the nomenclature with which we describe […] should not be taken too seriously. Just because a website does not employ Web 2.0 features does not make it obsolete. After all, a small e-commerce website trying to sell niche products may not have any business need for users to submit content or to be able to interact with each other. […]

Web 4.0 – “Mobile Web”
The next step is not realy a new version, but is a alternate version of what we already have. Web needed to adapt to it’s mobile surroundings. Web 4.0 connects all devices in the real and virtual world in real-time.

Web 4.0 5.0- Open, Linked and Intelligent Web = Emotional Web

“The next web”

Tim Berners-Lee gave an inspired TED talk in 2009 on this new Open en Linked Web.

Although Web 4.0 5.0 still is in developing mode and the true shape is still forming, first signals are in that Web 4.0 5.0 will be about a linked web which communicates with us like we communicate with each other (like a personal assistant). Web 4.0 5.0 is called “symbiotic” web. This Web will be very powerful and fully executing.   Web 4.0 5.0 will be the read-write-execution-concurrency web.

Web 5.0 will be about the (emotional) interaction between humans and computers. The interaction will become a daily habit for a lot of people based on neurotechnology. For the moment web is “emotionally” neutral, which means web does not perceive the users feel and emotions. This will change with web 5.0 – emotional web.   One example of this is, which maps emotions of people. With headphones on, users will interact with content that interacts with their emotions or changes in facial recognition.


An overview of the web 123 in one graph and one tabel:



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